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How to deploy a digital marketing strategy on a strict budget

Azadeh Williams (CMO) | Sept. 8, 2015
We look at the innovative way The Smith Family drives engagement with donors on a limited marketing spend.

The Smith Family's Rosie Simpson
The Smith Family's Rosie Simpson

When your marketing budget is restricted, it is critical to make every dollar count. One organisation that successfully implemented its marketing strategy despite a restricted capacity to spend big was The Smith Family, which recently exceeded its benchmarks and transformed its website into a million-dollar fundraising channel.

The challenge: widening community reach and increasing support

With more than 638,000 Australian children living in jobless families, the need for increased support has never been greater. Providing support since 1922, The Smith Family wanted to find a more targeted way to raise support, in order to better help disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.

With such a worthy cause to fight for, Rosie Simpson, Head of Fundraising at The Smith Family, decided to set some aggressive targets for the team.

"In 2013, we decided to significantly increase the number of disadvantaged children that we reach and improve the effectiveness of the work we do, so my team needed a strategy to increase our funding to help achieve that goal," Simpson said.

While the charity had a few channels it wanted to target, such as individuals, or what Simpson calls 'mums and dads', corporates and major donors, the team soon realised digital spanned across all of them.

"From that point on, it was clear that our website was a priority," she said. "People are far more open to using digital channels for fundraising nowadays, and we really needed to tap into these digitally active donors".

In the past, Simpson said the website was "a shingle" in the organisation and featured a miscellaneous bag of information.

"It contained stories and everything that we did, but not in a terribly effective way," she said. "So with a strict budget, it was imperative as an organisation to think about what is the number one objective. And that is that we want people to support us.

"That set us on a journey of using the data and information gathered from how people were using our website to be very clear on how we were going to really turn on that level of support. "

Every dollar counts

In order to meet targets to drive increased support on a limited budget, The Smith Family decided to revolutionise its website engagement by implementing the Sitecore platform.

"We did get a lot of pushback on Sitecore initially, mainly because people couldn't understand why a small organisation like ours would need such a sophisticated solution," Simpson said. "What they didn't understand is that, in charity, it's even more important to engage with people than in the private sector".

 

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